- Clouds at Dusk
- The Crowd From Owen’s View
I have decided just this morning that WordPress bites for uploading pictures. I liked Blogger where I could just click, click, click-and I can’t do that here. I apologize; there were a bunch of pictures I was going to post, but I can’t figure out how to get them into the post in the right spot and then I kept losing them and whew, at some point I wanted to actually write a post! No matter; I will figure it out, just not this morning. And there was lots of blog fodder, but most of it I didn’t even take pictures of. Apparently, deep down, there is a nice and kind person hiding, because every time I wanted to get a great photo, I felt bad-like “What if it was me standing there with my ass cheeks falling out of my shorts and they really aren’t ass cheeks that people want to see because they are too big and wobbly and eeew, I sure wouldn’t want them to show up on the Internet!” Of course, the thought ALSO crossed my mind that if they didn’t want people to be subjected to look at their ass cheeks, they wouldn’t be wearing shorts like that, but still.
I digress. It was a madhouse in the square last night, with what looked like the entire town and then some gathered in the square for the evening’s activities. If I had to guess, I would say there were probably close to 5,000 people packed in this one square block. There was a concert going on in the gazebo, with a local band playing all sorts of patriotic-type songs, and beneath the noise and the smells and all the chaos was a very tangible feeling of community. We live in a predominately Hispanic area, and unfortunately there are often racial tensions that explode when groups are gathered together; at events like this, the city and county law enforcement personnel are out in full force, not just to deter violence but to stop the inevitable skirmished before they escalate. They did a very good job, too, unobtrusively shuffling apart a couple of juveniles who wanted to start shit and getting them calmed down. For the most part, though, it was simply a group of people coming together to celebrate, eating and singing and watching out for each others kids and just having fun.
Some funny things: we were standing on one side of the square, conveniently close to the food booths (imagine that), and I overheard a couple of teens say, “Let’s go back to the other side; we’re back in the old folks’ section.
” There was a woman there dressed to the nines, complete with high heels and makeup and a really nice outfit; she was dragging behind her four little Chihuahuas with silver collars and chains, and they kept getting all tangled up together like those Barrel of Monkeys
. She would yank impatiently at them, but since they were all tangled together all four of them would move forward together every time she yanked. There was a little girl, maybe 10, who was wearing a leopard print Capri outfit with fuchsia tights, and a headband of some sort with those googly eyes
all over it. I was sorely tempted to take a picture of THAT, because it was hilarious, but then I remembered when Sam wore his dinosaur Halloween costume everywhere
for six months afterward and decided that since she was obviously thrilled with her outfit it would be in poor taste to make fun of it (but it was funny).
Some pettiness on my part: Seeing an old girlfriend of Steve’s and having his arm around me and our baby with us and knowing that it is just killing her that he passed up the younger model with only one child for the life he has now. I know, I know, I suck, but come on, you know you would feel the same way. It is similar to the way Steve felt when Sam’s dad showed up at his job, just a small and petty sense of satisfaction. We are small people.
It was a good night; the fireworks were really nice, and the weather was marvelous, and the food was good. I never did get my tamale-the line was too long-but since the booths will be there all week I WILL get one before it’s all over. I was glad we went; the crowds just felt big instead of frightening, and I saw a lot of people I knew which always helps. We came home tired and a little bit grouchy at just before 11:00 pm, ready to be home in the quiet. That is one of the really great things about being amongst a lot of people and noise-coming home to your own quiet (comparatively) home and listening to the silence.